Sunday, May 19, 2019

Madam Attorney General, please resign (Re-publication)

This is a republication of a blog post first published
exactly three years ago today 19th May, 2016.  So it
incorrect to say that I was picking on Ba Tambadou
the current Ag and Minister of Justice.
Mama Fatima Singhateh, Attorney General and Minister of Justice 
The political turmoil that besets the country could have been averted if there were principled and courageous leadership within the Attorney General's Office and the Ministry of Justice.

Unfortunately, the legal office of the regime lacks both leadership and direction. Instead, the Attorney General elects to have her office run from Kanilai village and not from Marina Parade in Banjul.

When Ousianou Darboe was arrested and thrown behind the police van, together with dozens of his party executives and supporters for simply exercising their inherent right under law, and subsequently charged with inciting violence, rioting and other trumped-up charges, the Attorney General could not follow the law because she allowed herself to be dictated to by Yaya Jammeh.

Together with her Director of Public Prosecution, S. H. Barkum - who should also resign and return to Nigeria - they concocted frivolous charges they hung around the necks of innocent persons at the instructions of Yaya Jammeh who has effectively used the judiciary as a potent weapon against his real and perceived political enemies and the competition in the private sector.

At a recently held meeting at the Justice Ministry in which both the Chief Justice and the Solicitor General (who also ended up being fired), the Attorney General was advised to drop all charges against ALL protester demonstrators, including, of course Ousainou Darboe.  She wasn't having none of it because she doesn't have the courage to face Jammeh with the right advise that the charges were frivolous and Ousainou and co should be freed.

The same sentiments - that these men and women are innocent - were expressed by Justice Ottaba who was assigned the case in an online radio interview. In fact, he editorialized that to treat Ousainou in the manner that Gambians witnessed, and a senior member of the Bar, at that, was "embarrassing"and he suggested a political solution to what he saw, and correctly so, as a purely political matter.

Justice Ottaba did the right thing by recusing himself from the case and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice did the wrong thing again.  Missing yet another opportunity of redeeming herself, she continues to press on with a case that any lawyer worth his or her salt knows these are trumped-up charges to please Yaya Jammeh.

Most of those arrested have suffered not only injustices in the form of false charges, most have suffered physical violence at the hands of the security personnel.  Solo Sandeng has lost his life which the regime is denying even though neither the Attorney General and Minister of Justice nor the Interior Ministry can produce evidence to the contrary.  This regime continues to lie and the Attorney General continue to help in the concealment of the truth.

Fatomatta Jawara, Nogoi Njie and Fatou Camara were all tortured.  Some, if not all, were allegedly raped.  When they appeared in court for the first time a couple of weeks ago, all three showed visible signs of torture.  As we speak a husband and wife and their 4-week old baby are all in remand and have been denied bail.  Despite all this, Mama Fatima Singhateh, whom we presume is also a mother, is still blind to the fact that Gambians are being abused, their human rights trampled upon, beaten, sexually assaulted by Yankuba Badjie's torturers, killed and maimed.

What will it take, Mama?  What will it take?  I think we have reached a point where the honorable thing for you to do is to resign.  I am sorry to be saying this because I know you are better than that but, from my vantage point, you are an utter disgrace to Gambians at home and abroad.

Yaya Jammeh is not worth it.  R-E-S-I-G-N